THE ACCOUNTANT (October 2016)
The main character of this movie was what caught my eye. Christian Wolff, a freelance accountant with high-functioning autism and a penchant for problem-solving, spends his days crunching numbers for treacherous criminal organizations. But while Wolff and this movie’s premise were what got me into that theater, this high-action crime drama kept my butt in that seat, albeit on the very edge of it.
The Accountant was, at it’s core, a character-driven piece, and it had some great personalities to work with on all sides of the story. Christian Wolff has a talent for numbers, a need for routine, and an appreciation for art (and he’s a perfect shot, to boot). Seasoned agent Raymond King’s involvement in the case, beginning to end, was a mystery I wanted to solve. Marybeth Ascension Medina, a driven woman with a dark past, is pretty much blackmailed right into the plot. And Dana Cummings, both super sweet and wicked smart, has a great dynamic with our hero. Even the minor characters in this flick got full, interesting backstories; it made our protagonist seem even more mysterious by comparison, and it wasn’t a bad thing. One of the things I liked most about this movie was that, the further you go, the more it divulges Christian’s past.
Something that interested me throughout the movie was Ben Affleck’s portrayal of our hero. I have a feeling this role might receive some backlash from the internet; I have limited knowledge about autism, but from what I do know, it did seem like a surface-level portrayal. I don’t think the screenwriters made any efforts to part from the overused stereotypes employed time after time to represent the autistic community. Chris is a savant who has trouble expressing and comprehending emotions and establishing connections with people; all familiar tropes for characters with autism. My opinion is still that Affleck did quite well with the character, and Chris was my favorite by far; however, it’s just worth noting the existence of these cliches.
Another offender is a flick with a character whose only meaningful trait is their disability. To the writers’ credit, this movie produced an autistic character with interests and a job and a complicated history without putting a white-hot spotlight on his disorder. One of the many things I liked about The Accountant was that it wasn’t just about an autistic man having to overcome his disability; it was about an autistic man discovering a $61 million embezzlement and kicking some serious ass to protect himself and the people he cares about. There’s nothing at all wrong with the former type of dramas; their only crime is that there are a lot of them.
The closer you get to the end of this movie, the more things get twisted around. The plot doesn’t just pick up; it launches skyward like a bullet from Wolff’s rifle. The action sequences in this movie were smart and well-blocked; they really use location to their advantage (Can we talk about the scene with the truck? Because it blew my socks off). And the twists, for lack of a better term, kicked my ass. One of the best things about this film was that there are zero loose ends; everything (and I mean everything) is tied up nicely by the time the credits roll. Well, except for one thing.
AM I SERIOUSLY NEVER GOING TO FIND OUT WOLFF’S REAL NAME?